Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Jaywalker: single, searching for sole mate.

Hello blog,

So, I finished the first sock a few days ago and have been procrastinating on the photo shoot. This is my last semester at college and even though I thought I was taking 'three super fun classes, with an awesome schedule and a light course load' I actually may end up doing MORE studying this semester than I did in the fall so..... Things might get interesting. Of course I've got huge plans for my knitting, and for the blog, too. (mostly to do more.) So we'll see what happens.

The Jaywalker:

I think the pictures speak for themselves, it's a gorgeous sock.

The knitting olympics start on the 12th. In my mind I had planned to have both finished the 2nd Jaywalker, and a birthday hat before then, but now I'm not so sure that's going to happen. There's still some time, though, I haven't given up just yet.

Pictures of the stacked eyelet cowl coming up next.


Monday, January 25, 2010

Spinning out of control

Hello Blog!

Today's topic is about spinning. Specifically, how I really really want a spinning wheel. A few days ago, in a fit of boredom I started doing some spinning wheel research. I wanted to see which spinning wheels I liked merely by what info I could find out on-line. Granted, I'd like a chance to go window-shopping and try out actual real live spinning wheels, but with nothing but my laptop and a wireless connection, I think I've narrowed it down to two choices.

The Kromski Minstrel

The Ashford Traveler

This Video will make you an instant Traveler fan.

Sadly, a spinning wheel is just totally beyond what I can handle right now, but I can dream, can't I? I only need to hold on to this bright glorious dream until Feburary 12th. Did I mention I'm planning on competing in the knitting olympics this year? Huzzah!

And yes, this post was totally meant to distract you from the lack of Jaywalker updates. The first sock is finished but instead of taking advantage of the sunlight today for a photo shoot, I spent 4-5 hours studying kanji. School has begun!


Friday, January 22, 2010

Too tired to knit?

Hello blog,

I had planned to be able to post triumphant pictures of a finished Jaywalker sock, joyous accounts of how I had cast on to the second of the pair, and elegant rants about my other love The dark mark scarf. I fully intended to have started and gotten at least 15 rows into the scarf by now. However, things have not gone according to plan. The Jaywalker stills needs to be kitchener stiched closed. Despite a firm rational understanding of how to do it, and knowing full well that it's not really that hard or that scary of a thing at all, I still deeply deeply dread kitchener stitch. I thought that I would start the dark mark scarf instead. I love that pattern and it would take the edge off of toe-finishing. However I seem to have completely forgotten how to do double knitting since my last go at the pattern. One side still has the purls poking through and the other side just looks like an incomprehensible mess; you can distinguish neither purl nor knit stitches, but only a snarly swirl of yarn on the back side. I've read and re-read the instructions multiple times, printed them, and come within a hairs breadth of highlighting them (maybe I should.) And yet I still can not find that crucial step that I am so obviously missing. Nothing is more frustrating than failing so miserably at a task that, in the past, you did easily in your sleep. I have no intention of giving up on this pattern, and I'm sure I'll feel remarkably dumb when I finally do realize what I've been doing wrong, but until then I've cast on yet another pattern. It's the Stacked Eyelet Cowl by Ami Madison. I'm knitting it using knit picks comfy sport in the most satisfyingly winter shade of green. The color is most excellent and the yarn itself is soft, and ever so smooth. I haven't really decide where I stand on cotton, weather I hate is passionately or delight in it, but I'm certainly loving this yarn to bits. Oh, and by casting on this I ended up on Ami's blog, and ended up reading the entire archive. Well written entertaining knitting and fiber blogs are getting kinda hard to find, but I enjoyed reading hers ^^;; OF course all of this to say that I may possibly be too tired, or too bored to knit. I've been listless all day. I don't feel like reading, or studying. Listening to music or audio books gives me head-aches, and there is nothing interesting to watch on hulu. So I've spent most of the day knitting in complete silence trying not to doze off. Sigh.
With any luck I'll have pictures and more satisfying tales of progress for you in my next post. So until then,


Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Hello Blog.

Five more days until school starts! Yup. I'm excited.
The second brainmonster hat has stalled.....I want to finish it but.... I can't stand the feel of the yarn. It's acrylic and when I bought it I said to myself "This is really nice acrylic. Way better than most of the stuff I've knit with in the past" But then Christmas happened, and I got knitpicks wool, and I knit casscade chunky alpaca and.... The acrylic just isn't satisfying me anymore. In order to procrastinate on the hat, I'm thinking about starting Dark Mark scarf #3 ^__^ in loyal black and green colors. But for now, I'll knit happily on my new sock.

Despite what I said recently about hating sock knitting and DPNS in general, after casting off of the nine-to-five socks I immediately cast on these Jaywalkers.
I bought this single skein of sock yarn at Maryland sheep and wool last year. I was broke and it was the only thing I purchased other than food. My only thought in buying it at the time was that it was really soft, variegated (which I thought would be entertaining) and in colors totally and completely different from what I normally knit.
I'm loving the way it's knitting up (although. shhhh, I'm not sure I got gauge, I' never checked!), it's not pooling, it's pretty, and basically I'm twitterpaited.

Progress is really smooth too. The Jaywalker pattern is so hugely popular that I knew I just had to try it, and I think I understand why it's such an addictive pattern. It's easy to memorize, simple, and yet satisfyingly complex-looking. These photos are only a few days old, but are already dated.
Yesterday I started doing the heel flap, and I expect to be turning the heel sometime tomorrow.

The sock and I are about halfway through the last season of star-gate SG1. Hulu, if you can hear me. Season 1 of atlantis? Pretty please?


Saturday, January 16, 2010

FO Profiler : Traveling woman

Hello blog.

Today I have for you the final installment in my trio of FO's. This project was a christmas gift (for me! yay!). I was gifted with two skeins of Knit picks imagination sock yarn, and so like any sane person I decided to knit a lace shawl with it.
Lace does not look great in variegated yarn. I'm a firm believer in solid and semisolid color-ways for lace, as they show off the patterns much much better and are simply more elegant looking. Despite this unwavering belief I knit my shawl with the decidedly verigated Frog Prince colorway. A fantastic mixtures of brownish greens that make it look a bit like camo print, with a splash of sea-foam green to put a fairy-tail twist into the mix.

Pattern: Traveling Woman
Yarn: Knit picks imagination hand painted sock yarn (1 skein or less )
Color : Frog prince
needles: Us 6
Cast on: December 26th '09
Cast off: January 12 '10

While knitting this pattern I made a few discoveries which I will now share:
1) I love lace
2) I love lace charts
3) I love yarn overs

I toyed with the idea of making the shawl larger and using both skeins of yarn, but I was afraid of making it *too* large and ended up just following the pattern as written. I did not even use the full skein, and looking back I think I could have done one extra repeat of chart A with delightful results. However I am content with the way the shawl turned out. It's not too small, just big enough to cover shoulders and back. I feel like I'll need to buy a pretty white dress to wear with it come spring.

The real question now is, what too do with the remainder of the yarn? What to do with 300 yards of fingering weight camo print? I had thought of doing a slouchy hat but didn't really like any of the patterns I found on Ravelry. So now I'm thinking maybe trying the Mermaid gloves?

We shall see. In the meantime I'm still working on brainmonster hat #3 and a new pair of socks :)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

FO Profiler: Monster Hat

Hello Blog. Today is the second in my three-part FO series. I actually finished this hat well before I finished the socks. It was a quick knit, despite the considerable issues I had with it!

Pattern: Brainmonster
Yarn: Cascade Baby Alpaca Chunky
Needles: US9
Color : Blue
Cast on: December 30th
Finished : January 11

I knit this pattern once before for stress relief. I love hats and this hat is both silly, and super easy to knit. I can finish one in a day if I do nothing else, two days tops. I brought my brainmonster hat home with me and got a request for a blue one. I had the chunky alpaca in my stash, and boy what a dream was it to knit on! I did have some problems though; Gauge. This pattern is written for worseted weight, so I had to adjust the gauge. I cast on sizes 10.5's, it was clearly too lose, so I cast on size 10's. Seemed Ok so I knit the ENTIRE hat section only to find out that it was too big. That took most of an evening. Frogged that hat silly (Which made the alpaca all fuzzy BTW) and started over on size 9's. That was better although in truth I probably should have gone even a size smaller than that. Of course by then the recipiant had left despite my having hurried to finish the earflaps and the teeth in time. After she was gone my motivation to do the eyes dropped pretty low. Duplicate stitch and I are not exactly friends and the hat and I sat on opposite sides of the room and stared at eachother for a few days. I knocked out the first eye watching the new version of Escape from Witch Mountain, and the second one quickly followed. The hat is soft, and fun, I love the yarn, and I'll never get tired of knitting this pattern.

Cheers for now,

FO profiler : Nine-to-Five Socks

Hello Blog. Today I bring you the first in a trio of FO's. This one has been on the needles since March of 2009, the long belated socks knit for Sixer. Here they are now, modeled on her feet:

Pattern : Nine-to-Five Socks
Yarn: Berroco Comfort Sock (1 skien)
Colorway: 1757 (red)
Needles: US1/2.25 mm
Cast On date : March '09
Finished pair :January '10

This project took a long time to knit, and had it's fair share of trials. The first sock was pretty painful, I was new to sock knitting and those tiny tiny needles were difficult to maneuver around. I also mistakenly made the sock to fit my feet and had to un-knit a good inch and a half of the foot in order to make it more sixer-friendly.
The second sock started off OK. I memorized the pattern repeat which made it go much faster initially, but then school caught up with me and I inevitably shunned the sock in favor of easier, more fulfilling knits. I did continue to inch forward on it but I secretly didn't want to knit too far because I was fearful of starting the heel and doing the gusset; My two least favorite aspects of sock knitting. (Well, you know, after the DPN thing.) Finally with Christmas break I've been able to dedicate (most) of my attention to the sock, and sharing a room with sixer for a month does wonders for the motivation. Now it's done and I've even almost come to terms with the fact that DPN's are not the sum of all evil and it wont kill me to knit whole projects on them once and awhile. So long nine-to-five, I can't say that I'll miss you, but at least we can admire eachother from a distance. Maybe we can be penpals, even.

That's all for now. More soon.
Spoiler alert: The next FO is a brainmonster hat.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Party Girl

Winter break has been such a ride. Like one long continuous party. I've been getting some knitting done. For starters I finished the Empress coat. I think I mentioned that before but now I have photos!

I'm working on four projects : two brain monster hats, the sock (yes same one, carrying it into the new year o.0 ) and a lace shawl type thing. I'm coming close to some series FO's, so look forward to that :)